SEOUL, Korea, Oct 27 (Korea Bizwire) – Foreign residents living in Seoul are actively participating in volunteer activities sponsored by the Seoul Metropolitan City Government. The Seoul Global Center, a city government organization established to support foreigners in the city, said on October 25 that it has signed on a total of 738 foreign nationals this year to date as volunteers. Some of the foreigners who have volunteered for the city-wide program will visit a city-operated home for seniors in the eastern part of Seoul on the 25th.
On the day’s visit, a total of 300 volunteers, including 20 foreign applicants, will participate and engage in activities such as helping with meals, walking, and playing such as drawing flags. Of the 720 volunteers registered with the Seoul Global Center, 250 are foreign nationals from 40 different countries worldwide including China (80), the United States (40), Japan (19), the Philippines (12), Taiwan (8), Canada (8), and Russia (8).
Up until now, the range of activities for them was limited to menial work including help with senior citizens and janitorial services in the city’s public facilities. But the city government will assign them jobs in more specialized areas such as classes on multicultural experience and checks on foreign language signposts. Earlier in April, a group of 22 foreign resident volunteers set out on the streets of the city and found 92 instances of incorrect or inappropriate signs in subway stations, restaurant menus, and other signboards.
All the foreign volunteers said the opportunity was very fruitful and it was a great occasion to learn Korea better. Munkhzaya, a student from Mongolia currently attending Hansung University in Seoul, said, “As a foreigner living in Seoul, I haven’t had a chance to meet children in person. The childcare volunteer activity allowed me to to that and I learned a great deal from it how different the culture of child rearing between Mongolia and Korea can be. I am so glad that I will be able to tell this to children in my country in the future.”
The city government will keep expanding the program in which foreigners can join, including the Western Home for Senior Citizens, Itaewon Subway Station, and public childcare facilities all across the city.